The political map of the country is being steadily saffronized, thanks partly to the credibility that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has had ever since he took over the reins of power and partly to the voter’s intent to ensure that the culture of dynasty-ism, corruption and appeasement politics perpetuated by the Congress in the name of profound ideas such as ‘secularism’ and ‘pluralism’ is put to an end for the nation to evolve. The Karnataka poll results have yet again reflected on the failed leadership of the Congress and its inability to evolve in sync with the changing times, and on the resolve of the BJP to make its presence felt increasingly in the South after its success story in the Northeast, Assam and Tripura in particular. It will not do for Rahul Gandhi to choose to console by pointing to the BJP’s number – 104, short of eight seats to win majority in the Karnataka Assembly. The fact of the matter is that the BJP is up by 65 seats as compared to its last performance, while the Congress, with 78 seats, is down by 43. Here hangs a tale: the people of Karnataka have not preferred the Congress to the BJP despite the so-called ‘young’ and ‘dynamic’ Rahul Gandhi’s vigorous campaign and his vitriol against Modi repeated at rally after rally. True, the BJP is unable to form a government on its own. But the people of that State have made the Congress sink by 43 seats while choosing to make the BJP soar by 65 seats, thus making it crystal clear that the former is not their choice and that they have reasons to choose the latter. On Tuesday, as the results were being declared, discerning political analysts did not lose sight of that fact of political life in the country. What next for Modi &Co then? Obviously Election 2019. As of now, the BJP is upbeat about yet another glorious triumph. However, its expanse is still beset with unsolved issues in healthcare, education and agriculture, apart from the strategic front of defence preparedness. It is here that the key to vikaas in these times lies. As for Rahul Gandhi, he would do well to realize that his is a task that cannot be accomplished by virtue of dynastic entitlement alone.
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February 19, 2019
Dr BK Mukhopadhyay (A noted management economist and an international commentator on business and economic affairs. He may be reached at m...